Producing unconventional reservoirs characterized by low porosities and permeabilities during early stages of exploration and field appraisal can be challenging, especially in high temperature and high pressure (HPHT) downhole conditions. In such reservoirs, the natural fracture network can play a significant role in flowing hydrocarbons, increasing the importance of encountering such network by the boreholes.

Consequently, the challenge would be to plan wells through these corridors, which is not always easy. To add to the challenge, well design restrictions dictate, the drilling of only vertical and in minor cases deviated wells. This can reduce the possibility of drilling through sub-vertical fracture sets significantly, and once seismic resolution is considered, it may seem that all odds are agents encountering a fracture network.

This article addresses a case where a vertical well is drilled, in the above-mentioned reservoir setting, and missed the natural fracture system. The correct mitigation can make a difference between plugging and abandoning the well or putting it on production.

The technique utilized is based on a borehole acoustic reflection survey (BARS) acquired over a vertical well to give a detailed insight on the fracture network 120 ft away from the borehole. Integrating this technique with core and high-resolution borehole image logs rendered an excellent match, increasing the confidence level in the acoustically predicted fracture corridors.

Based on these findings new perforation intervals and hydraulic stimulation are proposed to optimize well performance. Such application can reverse the well decommissioning process, opening new opportunities for the rejuvenation of older wells.

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